Trigger wanring: Abuse, SA.
As a lot of you know, I keep this blog anonymous and have only let three people in my life ever read it in its entirety. Of those three, none are still in my life. No one else knows what I write. Some days I wish I could make one giant Facebook post and tell everyone in my life the truth, yet I know no one wants to know the truth. I am the go-lucky, “a little bit,” bubbly girl who runs around loving life. I am the group clown. I am always an optimistic, fun one. Despite this, as I cleaned my apartment, I began writing in my head. I wrote a long potential Facebook post, wishing more than anything to post it.
Instead, I decided to write about it here. I was hoping that maybe posting it somewhere makes the burning desire to scream it at the top of my lungs dissipate. I had mentioned before that I was engaged. Engaged to a man who, at the time, I believed was the best I could do. The absolute best. To me, he was everything I needed. Every time we fought, I “knew” it was because of me. I “knew” that if I were only better, more obedient, then the fights would cease. The mental and physical pain would stop. Yet, no matter how hard I tried, it never did. Instead, the demands grew and grew. I was to stop working, stop hanging out with friends, stop living my life before him. He would pay for all my bills and belongings. I needed to get any purchase approved by him. I was to have food ready for him. I was to dress a certain way for him. I was to be in a specific position when he came over to my apartment, ready for whatever he needed or wanted, whether it was sex, an outlet for his anger, or someone to go on an adventure with. My mind began racing when I finally got the ring flung at me. “Is this truly what I want my life to be like.” “Would he treat our kids this way”? Despite these fears, I kept the ring. It took me a couple of months before I wore the ring and began planning the wedding. A wedding that no matter how many times I begged, he never cared to plan with me. A wedding that I had yet to tell anyone was happening—not ever been my best friend since childhood.
The day I decided the ring needed to come off or I would not survive to see my children, I realized how scared I was of him. Our arguments were never calm, not one. Every time I was left in tears. I believed this was our norm, “Volatile personalities.” Despite having things thrown at me, hands and all, I never once blamed him. It was my fault. I made him do this. He had a stressful job. It is all my fault. According to him, his obsession with my past trauma, my past sexual assault, was him trying to “heal me.” I should be more forthcoming with him about them. I should be open to telling him every detail he wanted to hear. I should be willing to recreate them with him. Recreate every aspect, “exposure therapy.” He would say I couldn’t grow unless I did this. I was the problem; I was the reason the nightmares never ended.
The day the ring came off, I saw no remorse in his eyes. I saw nothing, and I felt nothing but pure fear. I was terrified of him, terrified to tell him that I wanted to call off the wedding, that I wanted to put an end to us. Yet, the day I did, he said nothing. He only agreed and left. I spent the next six months terrified, terrified of him showing up at my door. Terrified to have anyone over in case he showed up.
Finally, a text came asking me to send him back everything he ever got me, or I would have to pay him back. Everything I owned at that point he had bought for me. When I said no, my only other option was to send him videos of me using any sexual object he ever bought me. Whether it was clothing or toys, again, fear, if sending everything I pretty much owned back to him, paying him back for thousands of dollars worth of things, or sending him my body whenever he wanted was my three options, what would happen if I said no again. I got three jobs, stayed in school, and began to pay him back slowly. Fast forward to a week before Thanksgiving, I get a text saying, “I am at the airport; come pick me up.” I knew I had two options, pick him up, or he would show up mad. So there I go, to a whole other state to pick him up. I bring a friend along, knowing that he would not hurt me if I had someone with me. Knowing I bought more time this way. He spent the week with me at my place.
A week where I went to work, school, clinical, and then home to be his perfect angel. Once he flew back overseas, I slowly began cutting off contact. I knew that if I did not go now, I would never be able to again. Nearly a year goes by, and I have no contact. Yet the fears, dread, behaviors he engraved in me stayed. No one knows about our relationship ending or even how it was. To them, we were an ordinary couple. To them, I never was struggling to survive, struggling to predict this man’s mood every day, struggling to keep him happy, struggling to allow him to fetishize my traumas and fears.